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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #51  
Old 07-13-2012, 06:42 AM
granlund granlund is offline
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That's the only thing I can think of when all other emission readings are perfect. NOx goes up due to lack of recirculated exhaust, which BMW controls with valve timing.

Also, I noticed that the 15 and 25mph tests were done at much lower engine rpm compared to previous years. Why?
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  #52  
Old 07-13-2012, 02:42 PM
aspensilver540 aspensilver540 is offline
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bugger, 2000! How arbitrary, should be all OBDII compliant cars. Grr

I'm surprised you haven't done the VANOS, bluebee! I woulda thought you tackled that ages ago, but I guess you are more about reliability than performance.
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  #53  
Old 07-13-2012, 03:09 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Good point. Yes. They just won't do the emissions report like the one I posted above.

I wonder what that will do to the price since they charge about $50 (give or take) for the complete test (including the so-called certificate which is nothing but an additional California tax).

Interestingly, when you get a 'smog only' inspection, they do the EXACT same test, but, since you can only go to smog-only stations, they actually charge you EXTRA (because they got you!).

That gouging is perfectly legal in California. In fact, a friend of mine went to a station that does any car, smog only or not, (they just can't fix 'em), and right there on the bill is the extra charge for the 'smog only' test - which is nothing more than a requirement from California - but - since it's a mandate - they get to gouge you for whatever they can.

I'm beginning to hate the laws of this state because they make no sense and don't even seem to be 'legal' (like the age-old smog impact fee, which California had to repeal and give everyone their money back, with interest.

All California cares about is taking money from us.
In WA State the fee used to be $25 or $30 and dropped to $15 when they went to the simpler test using the OBDII port...the new test is much faster.
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  #54  
Old 07-13-2012, 07:48 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granlund View Post
NOx goes up due to lack of recirculated exhaust, which BMW controls with valve timing.
Makes sense given the data. It would be exciting if year-to-year smog test results can indicate a leaking vanos seal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by granlund View Post
15 and 25mph tests were done at much lower engine rpm compared to previous years. Why?
Dunno. Here in California, the mechanic puts a contraption on the throttle or presses on it manually and keeps it within a speed range shown on the computer display which he keeps his eye on all the time he's doing that while the rear wheels are on the 'treadmill'.

So, my guess is that there is a range and he stays within it - but the actual speed is reported. But that's just my guess. Others may actually know the answer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aspensilver540 View Post
I'm surprised you haven't done the VANOS, bluebee!
It's on my round tuit list!
- Fix door regulator
- Fix windshield washer system
- Fix headlight adjuster
- Fix windshield gasket
- Fix VANOS gasket
- etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
In WA State the fee ... dropped to $15
That's good to know. We'll start reporting what happens come next January here in California.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 07-13-2012 at 07:52 PM.
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  #55  
Old 07-18-2012, 02:20 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Last week, I had a long talk with Mike McCarthy (m+his-last-name@arb.ca.gov) about OBD codes in California.

Mike manages the CARB OBD program for California (626-771-3614).

He is a very knowledgeable guy who knows the entire history of FTP drive cycles, OBD test requrements, and smog test laws and regulations.

He provided more detail than I could handle (most of which went over my head), but, it's important to note that the legislature voted to allow OBD-only tests in California, but, the infrastructure won't be in place by January next year - and most likely won't be in place for a while.

Mike said 31 states do smog tests but California had to fight the EPA to do decentralized tests. The EPA wanted centralized tests - so California implemented the 'hybrid' system of 'test only' stations and 'test-and-repair stations' to meet the EPA requirements of centralization. For the past year, they have been rating smog test & smog test-and-repair stations, giving each a STAR rating.

Today, every two years you have to get a smog test at either a test-only station or at a test-and-repair station. But, he said, fraud is rampant, so they're going to mail you a note that requires you to go to a station with a high rating. The system isn't in place, but an example would be a five-star rating where in order to register, you can only go to a five-star rated test station. They are doing this to cut down on fraud.

Another thing he told me is that a California dyno smog test cycle is NOT the BMW FTP test, nor the federal FTP-75 test (details at http://dieselnet.com). It's a special shortened California-only version of the drive trace that works well on a dyno.

Mike also mentioned that it takes two cycles for a CEL to go on (first one gives the pending DTC); and it takes 3 complete drive cycles for the CEL to go out.

For more information, Mike suggested I contact smogcheck.ca.gov.

EDIT: For information on the OBD readiness monitors, I called the Department of Consumer affairs 800-952-5210 where you can actually talk to 'former mechanics' who are now 'technical advisors' or 'consumer assistance representatives' for the state of California who will discuss with you your smog test questions.

At the Department of Consumer Affairs, I spoke with "Marvin" who explained that, in California, a 1996 to 2000 vehicle can pass smog with 2 monitors not ready but that a 2001 to current vehicle can have only 1 monitor not ready and still pass smog tests. He said many technicians still fail the car because they want to have high STAR scores.

In addition, Marvin said that new OBD tests will check your air conditioning because they assume if your ac isn't working that you're leaking freon into the atmosphere just like they check your fuel system, again assuming vapors will leak out into the atmosphere. So it's not just engine emissions that are being monitored.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 07-18-2012 at 03:40 PM.
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  #56  
Old 09-28-2012, 06:47 PM
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A new California smog test was posted today, over here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeyking View Post
Just got the car smogged but not familiar w/ the numbers on the smog testing. Was wondering if anyone can shed some light.



The part that is cut off NO (PPM) @ 15 mph is 0/25mph is 0.
Note: All California smog tests are currently run on a dyno but in the future, they'll use the OBD port instead of the tail-pipe sniffer. Here's my bimmer on the dyno for my last bi-annual test.
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 09-29-2012 at 05:02 AM.
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  #57  
Old 10-30-2012, 02:59 PM
borahatch borahatch is offline
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Here are my results from earlier today. This test was done on chevron 91 octane. The tech noted how clean my emissions were. Impressive for having 213,000 miles and the original cats on my 540. It's interesting to see my numbers drop on this smog test compared to my last one.[IMG][/IMG]
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Last edited by borahatch; 10-30-2012 at 03:04 PM.
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  #58  
Old 10-30-2012, 07:58 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borahatch View Post
Here are my results
Thanks for posting your numbers and adding to our anecdotal bimmerbase!

Here's another one from today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by King540i View Post
Car recently failed smog with a high hydrocarbon reading. Results:

15mph: 55/49 - Avg 9
25mph: 33/33 - Avg 6

Oil change less than 3k miles old.
Spark Plugs changed with NGK less than 5k miles.
Clean air filter.
No CEL lights.

Any suggestions?
Thanks
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #59  
Old 12-04-2012, 06:18 PM
acoste acoste is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i; 2010 550i
Passed smog yesterday
167k miles
528i '98
fuel: 91 AKI, since I drive it (130k)
plugs: Bosch platinum 4+ (@ 133k)
oil change every 6k (It will come next week)

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  #60  
Old 12-12-2012, 04:29 PM
snoopyloopy snoopyloopy is offline
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fail incoming
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about 8 gals of VP100 into a tank of Chevron 91, Lucas Synthetic + Mobil1 0w-40 in crankcase, misfire in cylinder #8 (though no CEL because I change the plug about once a month), new front O2 sensors back in April

Last edited by snoopyloopy; 12-12-2012 at 05:07 PM. Reason: adding details
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  #61  
Old 02-23-2013, 02:45 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this useful information was posted today (California specific):
Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
[ In California, by law] ... the buyer must receive from the seller a passed smog test dated no later than 90 days prior to sale, or the state will not issue a cert. The bind comes when the buyer has to get the car smogged after the sale, and before registration. If it fails, he has the privilege to spend whatever it takes to pass the test.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #62  
Old 04-07-2013, 09:05 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, we're about to get a California smog result for an E39 with a leaking VCG, which may be instructive ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unholy RC View Post
Hi folks I just moved to California,the car is still on the moving van,and there were a few issues with the car that I could not get to before I moved, one was a valve cover gasket and the other was a power steering hose leak. My Question is will it pass the sniffer test with the valve cover gasket leak?
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #63  
Old 04-19-2013, 01:03 PM
Unholy RC Unholy RC is offline
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As bluebee said here are my results
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  #64  
Old 04-19-2013, 02:40 PM
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nyclad nyclad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unholy RC View Post
As bluebee said here are my results
Um...can you post that larger so it's readable? Thanks in advance.
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  #65  
Old 04-20-2013, 12:04 AM
Unholy RC Unholy RC is offline
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  #66  
Old 04-20-2013, 12:07 AM
Unholy RC Unholy RC is offline
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large enough? sorry i'm still trying to figure out how to do this stuff.
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  #67  
Old 08-27-2013, 02:06 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Here is a FAILED California smog emission test report from this thread today:
- > E39 (1997 - 2003) > CA Smog test failed Error code P0313, P1083, P0135, P0155, P0171, P0174 - HELP!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasshah View Post
I have 2002 (10/2001) BMW 530I, failed CA smog test on both 15mph and 25 mph test. I have all stock; use Costco 87 octane gas. The SMOG test failed due to engine light, here are Error codes P0313, P1083, P0135, P0155, P0171, P0174 on smog test sheet. I was able to read error codes by connecting to INPA (INPA v3.01/EDIABAS v6.4.3 Thanks David MC), please see attached. I cleared the error codes and took car for 50 miles spin and then connected to INPA to see if any error codes and unfortunately there are two (please see post). Please advice of what course of action I should try to fix these error codes. PLEASE HELP!!!

Attached Smog test, Error Memory report, Error Memory Report after 50mile spin, VANS screen shot, Analog Values screen Shot, Patrol Adaption, Lambda probe screen shot, rough screen shot
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__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #68  
Old 12-09-2013, 07:27 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This related Nox emissions thread was posted today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Help Reduce NOX for Smog Test


Quote:
Originally Posted by 540IVincent View Post
Hello Everyone,
Need some help getting my 1997 540I to pass California Smog. I just failed my first smog inspection yesterday because my NOX reading was too high during the 15mph test. Here were my readings:

15mph: Co2 = 14.9, O2 = 0.0, HC(PPM) = 23, CO(%) = 0.08, NO(PPM) = 641 FAIL

25mph: Co2 = 14.9, O2 = 0.0, HC(PPM) = 20, CO(%) = 0.06, NO(PPM) = 669 PASS

The max readings allowable for each of these areas is:

For 15 mph test: HC(PPM) = 49, CO(%) = .047, NO(PPM) = 409

For 25mph test: HC(PPM) = 33, CO(%) = 0.44, NO(PPM) = 696

I put in a gallon of denatured alcohol into my gas tank which was a 1/4 full with 91 octane fuel, drove about 10 minutes hard on the freeway to heat up cats and then pulled directly into the smog station and inspection was performed immediately. As you all can see I was really close to passing except for the damn NO levels were slightly too high in the 15 mph test. I have read that if I install spark plugs one heat range cooler than stock that this can reduce the NOX readings by a couple of hundred. Does anyone know if this is true and if so what spark plugs would I use? I know that my car calls for either

Bosch # F7LDCR or

NGK # BKR6EK

Will it affect the performance of my car by installing a heat range cooler? Also would performing a Sea Foam decarbonizing treatment to my engine help to reduce the NOX readings enough to get me to pass by removing excess carbon build up? My car has close to 200K miles on it. I have only had it a few months but I can tell it has been well taken care of. Any help, advise would be tremendously appreciated. I do not want to have to buy new cats just because my NOX readings are slightly off for this stupid smog inspection. As much as I love California it is things like this that makes me really hate it at times. Thanks to all,

Vincent
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #69  
Old 12-13-2013, 10:31 AM
sfoda764 sfoda764 is offline
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Bluebee,

First, thanks for all you do for this forum. I find your input helpful, thorough, and on-point.

Apologies for using this thread, however the system would not let me send you a private message.

I would like to use my OBD scanner to assess my cars health, similar to the way a doctor would run tests (blood, EKGs, etc.) to rule out or identify illnesses.

What I need are the normal values for things like fuel trim, coolant temp, fuel pressure, etc.

Have you come across anything like this?

Thanks,
Rick (sfoda764)
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  #70  
Old 12-15-2013, 06:20 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoda764 View Post
the system would not let me send you a private message.
Yeah. I've been remiss in cleaning up the PM system, as my number of unread messages is apparently maxed out:



Quote:
Originally Posted by sfoda764 View Post
Have you come across anything like this?
I haven't seen that thread, and I did a couple of searches in the bestlinks but didn't find any.

Best bet is to ask the folks here:
Making sense of the most often recommended BMW diagnostic tools & cable interfaces (1) & BMW factory & dealer programming, coding, and diagnostic software such as INPA, EDIABAS, NCS Expert, DIS, EasyDIS, Progman (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) & related BMW diagnostic-tool forums (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #71  
Old 12-18-2013, 06:12 PM
sfoda764 sfoda764 is offline
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Thanks

Thanks again. I will check the links and report back.
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  #72  
Old 01-29-2014, 04:56 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Last week, I had a long talk with Mike McCarthy at 626-771-3614 (m+hislastname@arb.ca.gov) about OBD codes in California.

Mike manages the OBD program for California. He had tons of details (most of which went over my head), but, it's important to note that the BMW FTP is 'not' the same as the EPA FTP (aka FTP-74) drive trace (Mike said more information is at dieselnet.com).

He said the BMW FTP can be considered a manufacturer-specified 'superset' which encompasses the EPA FTP-75 that all California cars must pass.

For example, the EPA 75 does 'not' have such long times for cold idle and it doesn't even have a second cold start. It has a 10 minute cooloff period in the cycle - but that's it for the engine being off. And, it doesn't even have the idle-in-gear stuff that the BMW drive trace has. Apparently it all started down in LA with a drive cycle of 1,372 seconds and then progressed to EPA control culminating with the EPA-72 spec and then the EPA-75 as described on http://dieselnet.com

Mike knew the history of all the OBD standards, from IM240 to ASM and then on to OBD.

Mike also knew the history of the OBD monitoring requirements. Specifically he confirmed that, in any one drive cycle, a pending code can be set once, and then the second code will trigger the MIL.

To reset the MIL, the code has to be NOT trigged in three complete drive cycles.

For more information, he suggested smogcheck.ca.gov

EDIT: For information on the OBD readiness monitors, I called the Department of Consumer affairs 800-952-5210 where you can actually talk to 'former mechanics' who are now 'technical advisors' or 'consumer assistance representatives' for the state of California who will discuss with you your smog test questions.

At the Department of Consumer Affairs, I spoke with "Marvin" who explained that, in California, a 1996 to 2000 vehicle can pass smog with 2 monitors not ready but that a 2001 to current vehicle can have only 1 monitor not ready and still pass smog tests. He said many technicians still fail the car because they want to have high STAR scores.

In addition, Marvin said that new OBD tests will check your air conditioning because they assume if your ac isn't working that you're leaking freon into the atmosphere just like they check your fuel system, again assuming vapors will leak out into the atmosphere. So it's not just engine emissions that are being monitored.
I called Mike McCarthy again at 626-771-3614 who said the OBD test machines are currently in beta testing.
He hopes they will pass their tests soon, in which case they can be sold to the test stations.
He hopes that will happen before the end of this year.
He also confirmed that cars can pass California smog with either one or two incomplete registers, depending on their year (as described in the quote above).
He did say that soon, the older (1996 to 2000) cars will be limited to one unset monitor (which can be any monitor other than the fuel evap test); and that the newer cars will be limited to zero unset monitors.

Mike also explained that many people go to the BAR refereee when a smog test station refuses to run the test due to unset monitors.
They just call the BAR referee, who, for free (except the $8.75 for the certificate), will smog check the vehicle at a local community college via a scheduled appointment.

With your license plate, name, and address, you can schedule a free smog-check referee appointment by calling 800-622-7733x1(English)2(agent) and telling them that you have unfilled registers, and nobody will smog you. The local college here where they do that free smog check is Evergreen Community College, and an appointment takes about a week (in my experience). Total cost is $8.25 for the certificate (the smog check, which normally costs around $60) is free.

Since I lost my registration, I called BAR at 800-952-5210x1(English)x0(representative)x1(smog) who simply asked for my license plate and told me that I had to go to the STAR & TEST ONLY stations.
It bothers me that California is so screwed up that they make US pay for their silly system; but it is what it is, and I, as a single person, can't do anything about it.
The only good news out of all this is that the OBD tests are coming soon.

EDIT:
I don't know of any DMV price list for smog stations, but, there is this BAR web site which will list them out by zip code, e.g.,
- http://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/pubwebqu...ationList.aspx

Here, for the record, is the DMV site explaining a couple components the lousy system (but, in reality, it's a system put together by bureaucrats who don't know how to put systems together without the public paying through the nose for their inefficient system):
- http://www.dmv.org/ca-california/smo...og-Inspections


I called some local STAR-certified smog check stations to find hours & prices (sorted by price, out the door, including the $8.25 certificate):
  • $48 408-371-6430
  • $50 408-356-4188
  • $50 408-374-0140
  • $50 408-227-1575
  • $60 408-871-9484
  • $85 408-399-3927
See also:
- How to identify all BMW computer-specific OBDII DTC diagnostic fault codes (1) & how to better understand the key EPA federal test procedure (FTP) concept of the BMW SES "drive cycle" (1) & how to diagnose a typical BMW E39 engine misfire (1) or a sporadic-temperature-change cold-engine intermittent misfire (1) (2) & what you can expect for E39 smog emissions test results (1) & obtaining the pending or diagnostic trouble code (DTC) using free or freeware scans (1) [except in California or Hawaii (1) (2)] or where to get the cheapest reasonable OBDII scanner in the world (1) (2) or a better overall scanner (1) or the best BMW diagnostic tools (1) (2) (3) & a template of what to tell people from the Republik of Kalifornia who need to do an OBC diagnostic scan (1).


EDIT: The bimmer passed smog tests at the referee station (total cost, $8.25), and, they didn't even check the registers!

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File Type: pdf Referee_Centers-FS.pdf (153.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: pdf California Smog Check Reference Guide.pdf (1.64 MB, 3 views)
File Type: pdf California Smog Check Referee Program Fact Sheet.pdf (184.1 KB, 11 views)
File Type: pdf California Smog Check STAR Program Fact Sheet.pdf (317.6 KB, 2 views)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 06-05-2014 at 02:29 PM.
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  #73  
Old 06-05-2014, 02:11 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,274
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Just to put it all together, here are four tests of my bimmer, over the past few years:
Notice the recent precipitous increase in the hydrocarbons, and the almost exact nitrogen oxides over the years!

What should I conclude from the huge increase in hydrocarbons?
  1. 2010 false failure for a P0500 due to rebuilding the ABS control module
    • Hydrocarbons = 0 ppm at 15mph, & 0 ppm at 25mph
  2. 2010 pass after driving the BMW drive cycle
    • Hydrocarbons = 9 ppm at 15mph, & 2 ppm at 25mph
  3. 2012 pass after fixing many hose leaks in multiple places
    • Hydrocarbons = 2 ppm at 15mph, & 2 ppm at 25mph
  4. 2014 pass after fixing minor vacuum leaks
    • Hydrocarbons = 31 ppm at 15mph, & 10 ppm at 25mph
Note: Only the top test was using 91AKI fuel; the rest were on 87AKI Costco or Safeway gasoline.

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__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 06-11-2014 at 09:02 AM.
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